United Nations Secretary-General's Message for 2013 :We live in a time of global uncertainty. Multiple crises and natural disasters are testing even the most robust economies and communities. The International Day of Cooperatives is an annual opportunity to highlight how cooperatives can contribute to building resilience in all regions and all economic sectors.
Over the course of the ongoing global financial and economic crises, financial cooperatives have proven their strength and resilience, benefitting members, employees and customers. They have maintained high credit ratings, increased assets and turnover, and expanded their membership and customer base.
After disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and floods, cooperatives have shown their ability to mobilize solidarity for reconstruction. Agricultural cooperatives improve the productivity of farmers by facilitating access to markets, credit, insurance and technology. Social cooperatives can provide an important safety net in the face of declining or minimal public welfare. They also show considerable potential for empowering youth and alleviating the growing global youth jobs crisis.
On this International Day of Cooperatives, I call on Governments to encourage policies to support and strengthen cooperatives so they can contribute fully to inclusive and sustainable development.
The aim of the day is to increase awareness of co-operatives and promote the movement's successes and ideals of international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality, and world peace.ICA first celebrated the International Day in 1923. The International Day is now run in partnership with the UN and the UN asks all member governments to participate in the celebrations each year.
The International Day has a different theme each year. Themes in recent years have included 'Co-operative enterprises build a better world' in 2012, ‘Youth, the future of co-operative enterprise’ in 2011 and ‘Co-operative enterprise empowers women’ in 2010. Co-operatives around the world celebrate the Day in many different ways, seeking to gain media coverage and public awareness at a local and national level.
UN International Day of Co-operatives, 6 July 2013 "Cooperative enterprise remains strong in times of crisis" - "La coopérative une entreprise qui reste forte en temps de crise" - "La empresa cooperativa se mantiene fuerte en tiempos de crisis".
This year's theme links to the global economic crisis and how many co-operatives are resilient to the effects of the crisis compared to shareholder businesses.